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Author Topic: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)  (Read 810 times)

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JW

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Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« on: April 02, 2018, 06:42:47 pm »
+1

Here is the Cultist article on the main Dominion strategy blog:

Quote
Cultist junks decks faster than any card in the game, and dealing with the onslaught of Ruins is extremely difficult, making Cultist a very strong card.

Cultist’s abilities strongly incentivize building a “Cultist stack”, a deck that buys primarily Cultists and no other Actions. First, playing a Cultist does not let you play other Actions after, except for other copies of Cultist. This pushes you to have lots of copies of Cultists to chain the draw and attack and not have a lot of copies of other Action cards, which you would not be able to play if you drew them. Second, while playing a village would enable playing Actions other than Cultist, it’s usually hard to reliably start your turn with a village in hand in a strong junking game. This further disincentives including Actions other than Cultist. Third, the game could end quickly on piles (Cultists, Ruins, and something else, like Duchies). This reduces the amount of time you have to to build a more comprehensive deck.

Night cards, Treasures, and Events cannot be drawn dead, and some of these cards can push against adhering to a pure Cultist stack strategy. For example, Ghost Town or Save can help you consistently start your turn with a village; a reserved Coin of the Realm can allow you to play Actions drawn dead; Lost Arts can give Cultist an Action token. Even so, Cultist’s potent ability to chain the drawing of cards and dealing out junk remains powerful.

Sometimes Ruins can be cleaned out or ignored. Strong trashing can allow a recovery from the Ruins deluge and enable you either to transition from a Cultist stack to a controlled engine with Cultist as a source of draw or to build a different engine entirely. Additionally, unlike Curses, Ruins are are worth 0 VP and are themselves Actions. That means building decks that rely on Vineyards or Gardens to score is more viable in the presence of Ruins than other type of junk. However, transitioning from Cultist into a Village-based engine can be difficult to pull off, and viable alternative VP is not always available, making it necessary to play a Cultist stack instead.

Finally, while the on-trash benefit is rarely a good reason to buy Cultist if you are not going to buy it for its primary abilities, it can be an added benefit in kingdoms where trashing plays a role.

Some comments:
A “Cultist stack” may not buy “primarily” Cultists even in the early game - on a 3/4 opening, you’ll probably buy as many Silvers as Cultists early in most games. I’d define building a Cultist stack as buying Cultist whenever possible unless the ruins pile is empty or nearly empty, and often not buying other actions.

Quote
Third, the game could end quickly on piles (Cultists, Ruins, and something else, like Duchies).

The Cultist pile running is only likely to happen if multiple players get Cultist. If only one player gets Cultists, it would likely take too long to empty the Cultist pile. Not buying Cultist usually means you’ll get crushed by the ruins, but if there’s a reasonable plan not to get it, piles won’t run as quickly as this suggests.

Two typos with repeated words: “to to” in second paragraph and “are are” in the fourth paragraph.
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Screwyioux

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 09:26:27 am »
0

I agree that article oversimplifies Cultist.

I don't like the card and I think it makes games boring/homogenous, but it's not a Rebuild-tier win button.


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Awaclus

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 09:46:31 am »
+1

I don't like the card and I think it makes games boring/homogenous, but it's not a Rebuild-tier win button.

It's more of a win button than Rebuild though.
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faust

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 09:58:49 am »
+1

I think for its length the article conveys a good number of important points. Obviously it could be longer and go into more detail on things like transitioning into engine, but if you prefer articles to be short then this is a good one.
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Since the number of points is within a constant factor of the number of city quarters, in the long run we can get (4 - ε) ↑↑ n points in n turns for any ε > 0.

Screwyioux

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 09:59:26 am »
+1

You know Adam said the same thing as soon as I posted this. I disagreed based on my experience but you guys have me starting to doubt that.
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Screwyioux

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 10:11:26 am »
0

Maybe someone can educate me on this.
I have played plenty of games with both of those cards. I've beaten Cultist without buying it, and been beaten using Cultist by players who ignored it (rarely, but it's happened).

I have NEVER seen Rebuild lose to something other than Rebuild.

The issue I've had with Cultist when it has been beatable was that the deck it builds doesn't do all that much once the ruins are out. You probably need a few more silvers/golds to play big money with any effectiveness, and if your opponent was cleaning up the ruins and building something better, aren't you a little behind by that point (it also has the lulzy edge case counters of Vineyard, Gardens, Obelisk on the Ruins pile but I'm not even talking about those).

What am I doing wrong with Cultist that I don't see it as being as effective as you guys do?
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faust

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 10:13:19 am »
+3

Maybe someone can educate me on this.
I have played plenty of games with both of those cards. I've beaten Cultist without buying it, and been beaten using Cultist by players who ignored it (rarely, but it's happened).

I have NEVER seen Rebuild lose to something other than Rebuild.

The issue I've had with Cultist when it has been beatable was that the deck it builds doesn't do all that much once the ruins are out. You probably need a few more silvers/golds to play big money with any effectiveness, and if your opponent was cleaning up the ruins and building something better, aren't you a little behind by that point (it also has the lulzy edge case counters of Vineyard, Gardens, Obelisk on the Ruins pile but I'm not even talking about those).

What am I doing wrong with Cultist that I don't see it as being as effective as you guys do?
I think the issue is more that you overvalue Rebuild than that you undervalue Cultist.
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Since the number of points is within a constant factor of the number of city quarters, in the long run we can get (4 - ε) ↑↑ n points in n turns for any ε > 0.

markusin

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 10:28:20 am »
+1

Maybe someone can educate me on this.
I have played plenty of games with both of those cards. I've beaten Cultist without buying it, and been beaten using Cultist by players who ignored it (rarely, but it's happened).

I have NEVER seen Rebuild lose to something other than Rebuild.

The issue I've had with Cultist when it has been beatable was that the deck it builds doesn't do all that much once the ruins are out. You probably need a few more silvers/golds to play big money with any effectiveness, and if your opponent was cleaning up the ruins and building something better, aren't you a little behind by that point (it also has the lulzy edge case counters of Vineyard, Gardens, Obelisk on the Ruins pile but I'm not even talking about those).

What am I doing wrong with Cultist that I don't see it as being as effective as you guys do?
I think the issue is more that you overvalue Rebuild than that you undervalue Cultist.

Yeah in particular it surprises me that you've never seen Rebuild get beat by something that isn't Rebuild, unless the games you played where Rebuild was weak had Rebuild skipped by all players every time due to it being recognized as weak.

I've lost to Goons decks going for Rebuild at least, and there was a recent game with Dan Brooks vs. Markus (World Cup final game) where Markus went Rebuild against Port/Wharf stuff from Dan and got crushed (though with a hefty dose of bad luck to go along with it).
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Screwyioux

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 10:33:44 am »
0

Sounds like I need to play more Rebuild games.
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samath

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 11:03:56 am »
+3

For a great example of a board where a Rebuild strategy was attempted by a top player and was completely outclassed, see the World Cup Tiebreaker Match Game 5 here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/243923741 (Game 5 starts at 2:11:30).
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markus

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2018, 11:58:59 am »
+10

I'm glad that the horrible idea of going for a simple Rebuild strategy after two hours of heavier thinking can at least be used as reference. :'(
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Aleimon Thimble

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 02:03:10 pm »
+1

For a great example of a board where a Rebuild strategy was attempted by a top player and was completely outclassed, see the World Cup Tiebreaker Match Game 5 here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/243923741 (Game 5 starts at 2:11:30).

To be fair, Rebuild has a lot of strikes against it there, with a strong junking attack, good engine cards (no trashing but that hurts both strategies) and Shelters to top it off. I would've ignored Rebuild there as well.
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Chappy7

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Re: Cultist article on main blog (and comments)
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 05:01:18 pm »
0

Sounds like I need to play more Rebuild games.

Only if you enjoy boring games...
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